Marine is a very special person. The WWII Marine was extraordinary.
He grew up in the Great Depression where he learned resourcefulness
and how to get along with little. He then endured extreme training
which made him physically fit and mentally tough. He was thus
ready to take on a fanatical and well-equipped enemy in the Pacific
and defeat him on the islands he had claimed to be completely
secure from invasion.
Guadalcanal, the enemy had run over our positions which were poorly
equipped and no match for the Japanese Imperial forces. The Marines
at Guadalcanal surprised them and turned the tide of the war.
They fought hand to hand and stood their ground against the attacks
which were mounted against them. Bob and the other Marines expected
death when they were cut off from reinforcements, yet they fought
and held on. When reinforcements did arrive, it was the Japanese
who were then cut off and starving.
had developed his own toughness which is very well described in
this book. He had learned to adapt to new and different situations
and he had this sense of another "presence" being with
him and looking over him. He seemed to never fear death or the
the Marine Corps, he was extremely restless and never did settle
into a routine with any normality. He bonded to few people and
he lived a life on the edge. Success was infrequent and fleeting.
His relationships with women were limited and mostly physical.
He worked with men yet was never emotionally close. He saw his
work with the CIA as an extension of his Marine experience where
he continued to work for his country and it was not until he became
physically infirm that this became a problem for him.
first met him when he was having more physical problems and life
was becoming narrowed in the things he was able to do. He did
talk and gradually opened up, with the themes of the sessions
being the Marine Corps experience and his mysticism. He had beliefs
which were most novel and unusual. I did not share his beliefs
in aliens, reincarnation, night visitors, etc. I did enjoy hearing
his experiences and his theories. We talked much about his PTSD
and how this had related to his heart problems and spells of periodic
unconsciousness. He made little of the CIA experience and he told
Marc more than I had heard. I had the realization that he had
bonded with me in a way he had never bonded before, and in the
four and one-half years after I left his station until the time
of his death he would call me at least once a month to tell me
of a new discovery or idea. It was also during this time that
his wife called being very disturbed about his incarceration as
an arson suspect and asked if I could intervene. My wife and I
drove the 5 hours to the jail and talked with the release officer
whose main concern was whether Bob had a history of arson. When
I told him I was unaware of any such history, the officer immediately
released him to me and thus my wife entered the picture as we
drove him to his home and visited more with him and his wife.
He subsequently would also call her to visit and ask questions.
She and I paid one last visit to him in his home a few days before
his death and it was a great closing to our relationship.
hold these men in the highest regard. They are mentally tough
and have earned anything we may do for them. They have emotional
scars from their service and they bear these in Marine style with
no whining and asking little of us in return for the great service
they rendered our country. I have been greatly honored to have
had the privilege of working with them and their families.